10 Reasons to Plan Your Estate Now —That have nothing to do with Estate Taxes

  1. What If You Become Incompetent?

Without a plan the courts pick the successor manager of your affairs

With a plan you pick the successor manager of your affairs

  1. Who Raises Your Children?

Without a plan a judge decides without the benefit of your insight

With a plan you nominate the guardian of your choice

  1. How Does Your Family Inherit Your Assets?

Without a plan your family members receive your assets without benefit of your direction or trust protection.  Minnesota’s intestacy statute effectively writes your will and your assets pass according to the law of descent and distribution.

With a plan your family members enjoy the benefits of the plan you set up for responsible management of your assets.  You write your plan. You decide who gets your assets, as well as when and how they got them

  1. You Have a “Blended” – Multiple Marriage – Family

Without a plan your priorities are not even considered and children from different marriages may not be treated according to your wishes.

With a plan your priorities prevail and you decide what goes to your current spouse and to children from different marriages.

  1. You Have a Special Needs Child

Without a plan Medicaid and SSI benefits are as risk.  Your child may be disqualified from receiving Medicaid and SSI benefits and forced to use your assets for basic care.

With a plan Medicaid and SSI benefits can be preserved.  A Supplemental Needs Trust can hold assets so that the child can qualify for Medicaid and SSI benefits.  Your assets remain available for other non-covered expenses.

  1. Can Your Spouse and Children Survive Financially?

Without a plan they may need to downscale their lifestyle.  Without the income replacement provided by Life Insurance, your family may not have the funds to maintain their current standard of living.

With a plan they can enjoy financial security.  With the income replacement provided by Life Insurance, your family can be protected from having to downscale their standard of living.

  1. You Have an IRA

Without a plan your beneficiary designation form may not effectively reflect your current wishes.  Your beneficiary may experience burdensome income tax consequences because of large required distributions within a short time frame.

With a plan you choose the optimal beneficiary based on advice and counsel of your Financial Advisor, Attorney and CPA.  Your beneficiary may be able to minimize the income tax bite by “stretching” out distributions over time and enjoying the benefits of tax-deferred compounding.

  1. You Own a Business

Without a plan there is no succession planning; no successor is named.

With a plan you choose the succession plan and the successor.

  1. The Probate (Estate Settlement) Process is Cumbersome

Without a plan your estate is subject to unnecessary delays and excess fees and your assets become a matter of public record.

With a plan your assets may avoid probate entirely.

  1. Charitable Planning

Without a plan you may not be able to contribute to the charity or church of your choosing.

With a plan you can leave a legacy using a Donor Advised Fund or Charitable Remainder Trust.

For more information contact Kathy Tatone, Your Family Guardian Law Firm, 612-604-5146, 4500 Park Glen Road, Suite 220, St. Louis Park, Minnesota 55416.